Tuesday, January 12, 2010

61...

Let’s jump right in, okay?

Yesterday Mark McGwire admitted to using steroids while playing professional baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals.

As a St. Louisan, I grew up watching Cardinal baseball and loving every second of it (three cheers for Whitey Ball!!), but I kicked professional baseball to the curb when the industry chose the cash cow of the long ball over sportsmanship and integrity after a damaging strike. ‘Twas during that post strike era when a certain Mark McGwire emerged as the second coming of Roger Maris.

Even though I wasn’t watching baseball anymore, I followed McGwire’s race to break Maris’s home runs in a single season record. And I noted the excitement of the fans and McGwire’s home plate celebration when he did what we now know he was bio-engineered to do and broke the single season record.

Then came the steroid scandals…and the accusations leveled against multiple players…and some leaked grand jury testimony…and a bunch of public denials…and then that freakishly evasive non-denial denial testimony by McGwire to Congress and then…silence.

Nothing…until McGwire’s name emerged a few weeks ago when the Cardinals teased the notion of bringing him back as a hitting coach.

The response to that was tepid at best and most of the local pushback came from McGwire’s past non-denial denial of steroid use so…wait for it…bring on the tearful sorta full disclosure interview with St. Louis native Bobby Costas yesterday.

Cough.

McGwire cheated.

If he used steroids to enhance his hitting…he cheated.

If he used steroids to accelerate his recovery from the physical toll of baseball…he cheated.

And even if the steroids didn’t work and failed to enhance his hitting (which is absolute bullshit on ice) or didn’t little to nothing to assist in physical recovery…even if that shit is true, McGwire still tried to cheat and would have gleefully done so but for the failure of the ‘roids to do what ‘roids do (and I’ll repeat, I think talk of the lack of impact steroids had on McGwire’s performance is absolute bullshit steaming on Mississippi River ice!).

Now, y’all can forgive McGwire all you want to…hell, reward him with a coaching job and name another highway after his cheating ass if it gives your life meaning…but do that shit while keeping it real and only after Mr. I Took Steroids But They Didn’t Help Me One Bit ass keeps it real.

He cheated and in doing so insulted the legacy of the Roger Maris, whose record feel to a lie.

He has insulted and damaged the game of baseball…which used to be a sport but, with this latest public display of fan apathy toward a blatant lack of athletic integrity, is on the verge of becoming as legitimate as professional wrestling.

McGwire cheated…and you can dress it up and pour perfume on it all y’all want – that motherfucker is as guilty of cheating his way to 61 as homemade sin.

For the love of the game…he should have come clean a million times ago and certainly before now. But even though he’s come clean McGwire’s cheating at the game doesn’t break my heart the way folks not giving a shit about it does.

For the love of the game…he should have refused the single season record and lead by example in a sport populated by athletes who only seem capable of remorse when they get caught or can find personal profit from sorta-demonstrating the emotion.

For the love of the game…McGwire should have known that baseball is bigger than him or single season records or some sorry ass newly revealed hitting coach opportunity to rehabilitate his own image while further tarnishing the game.

Because if baseball isn't bigger than McGwire and worth more than his quest for validation (puh-lease, don't mistake that mess for redemption), what is now sport can so easily become sub-rate theatre played on a stage with three bases and a home plate.

But for the love of the game, a man would sell his soul for 61.

10 comments:

IseultTheIdle said...

"I kicked professional baseball to the curb when the industry chose the cash cow of the long ball over sportsmanship and integrity after a damaging strike."

I am so with you on that. It's sad, too - I used to love the game.

Not that it hasn't survived scandals before, but still.

Anonymous said...

I am much more concerned with football than baseball. I mean most all of those guys must be on something. Yet, we hear nothing about it.

I knew when he was going for the record that he was on something, his body looked different than the year before. I am not even a fan, never really watched the game and it was evident to me. That tells me that the powers that be in baseball knew it as well and turned a blind eye it. So yeah he and the others are being held out to dry but this is also about the lack of leadership from the higher ups in the game. Shame on them as well.

6p00d83455264569e2 said...

Honestly, I have no problem with players using the steroids, because, quite honestly, they're doing more damage to themselves than anything else, so hey. They want big, thick necks and small peckers, more power to them. Damage to the game? As you said, the MLB did more damage to the game than any one player doping his stupid ass up could ever do.

slythwolf said...

It's sheer entitlement, that's all it is. I want to be the best, I want to be at the top, I want to win, I deserve to have it without working for it, I'm special enough that it's okay for me to cheat. That's all it fucking is.

Most of us grew out of that shit by the end of middle school at least.

Miss Trudy said...

I seriously doubt baseball authorities turn a blind eye to the use of steroids. I believe they actively (if underhandedly) encourage it.

Ted McLaughlin said...

As far as I'm concerned, Roger Maris holds the single-season home run record and Hank Aaron hold the lifetime home run record. They did it without cheating, and that should be the test.

awb said...

All of MLB's "records" are probably tainted. Players in Hank Aaron and Roger Maris days used greenies. Before that players in the MLB refused to play against black or latino players. Nothing the players do now or did during the so called steriod era(Which is still going on. They just use shit that can't be detected) is any different than what they did back in the day. I refuse to look back at the history of MLB through casey-at-the bat colored glasses. Fuck em

As far as football getting a pass, yeah they do. But the NFL started taking this seriously a long time before MLB even acknowledged there was a problem. And as someone above mentioned, they DID know about it from the coaches and managers to Bud Selig and the "journalists" who covered it.

Fuck MLB from back in the day till now.

The Gold Digger said...

Yep. If he really wanted to come clean and wanted forgiveness, he would ask that his name be stricken from the record books. Until then, he doesn't deserve to be taken seriously.

And I don't even care about baseball.

But I do care about integrity.

catnmus said...

I don't agree that he cheated when taking the steroids to actually accelerate healing. I think they ARE a legitimate medical drug for those purposes. But when you're healed you STOP TAKING THEM! You don't "try HGH once or twice" as medical therapy. You don't "stay on low doses because you don't want your body to be like Arnold or Lou Ferrigno". You take what dose your doctor recommends! It is SUCH a crock.

Shark-fu said...

But catnmus...the drugs in question were banned and his taking them to accelerate healing when everyone else isn't taking them gave him a competitive edge...thus, I think he cheated.

But I'm with you on the other...continued use is beyond debate and discussion.

Ugh.